Union to ballot for strike action over Aer Lingus cuts

Aer Lingus is planning to cut up to 1,500 jobs through redundancy and outsourcing as part of a 74 million euro cost-saving programme, while SIPTU union members working for the company have decided to ballot for all out industrial action.Responding to management plans to outsource all ground operations and introduce a pay freeze and lower terms and conditions for other staff, SIPTU National Industrial Secretary Gerry McCormack said, “This is Irish Ferries Mark II. It represents a fire sale of good quality jobs by a management that can see no further than the next quarter’s profit and loss sheet.”

The Aer Lingus cabin crew base at Heathrow is set to be closed, but it is reported that the company’s hub at Belfast International Airport will not be affected.

A deadline of 1 November has been set for the implementation of the plan and the board released the following statement on Friday:

“The Board of Aer Lingus Group plc today agreed to proceed with a cost reduction programme to deliver the substantial savings which are necessary to ensure the Company’s long-term viability as an independent airline.”

“The Board has agreed the need for this fundamental change in the cost base to ensure that the Company remains competitive and is appropriately positioned to take advantage of future growth opportunities.”

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“Given the extremely challenging revenue environment the Board is committed to delivering these cost savings as a matter of urgency and management will meet with staff and their representatives next week to discuss the manner in which these cost savings will be achieved.”

Talks held last night with the unions were unable to change the view of the management that cut backs are necessary.
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